In the previous two articles, we reflected on mountaintop experiences. We started with the transformative experience of giving our lives to Jesus. We saw next that we often need a second mountaintop experience before we realize that we can’t overcome our old nature in our own strength. But God provides victory through surrender.
Now we turn to how God can use our lives for greater good. Queen Esther was given the opportunity to trust God. At first, she saw her terrifying circumstances only as a problem to escape. However, her cousin, Mordecai, recognized Esther’s problem as an opportunity to embrace. He was confident that God would deliver the Jews. The only question in his mind was whether God would transmit deliverance through Esther or through another means. The choice was hers. Through her faith in action, God’s power flowed to deliver the Jews.
We often look at Esther’s story, and those of many other men and women of faith, and wonder if God’s mighty power could flow through us too. Would we have the faith to make the choices they made? Jesus answered that question for us: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much . . .” (Luke 16:10, ESV). Our faith grows by exercising it. God gives us opportunities for this every day.
Like Esther, we’ve been given a purpose of eternal consequence. Jesus said that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). He could perform His mission without us, but He’s chosen to work through us, just as the Father chose to work through Him. Jesus has entrusted us with His Great Commission. He doesn’t want to do the work without us, and we can’t do the work without Him (2 Corinthians 4:7). To understand this better, we need another mountaintop.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus described the work: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you . . .” (Matthew 5:44). He said that anyone can love those who love them; that’s just conditional love. But unconditional love requires the nature of God. We can’t do that without the power of His Spirit in us. The good news is, in Christ we can do all things (Philippians 4:13).
Jesus said that rivers of living water will flow from those who believe in Him (John 7:38). We are the channels through which His love flows to others. However, when we’ve been treated unfairly, our old nature can cut off that flow if we haven’t surrendered our need for justice. The power to overcome our old nature belongs to God, but the surrender comes from us.
Like Mordecai, let’s remind each other of the magnitude of the opportunity before us. Like Esther, let’s act in faith so that the power of God’s unconditional love can flow through us to rescue those around us. Through the power of Jesus’ love in us, everyone will know that we are His disciples (John 13:34, 35).
Jody McCoy is executive director of the General Conference and lives in Austin, TX.